Create A Cheat Sheet

The Simpsons Family Picture

The Simpsons Family Picture

Before I ever start writing a book there are a couple of things I do that help me with my writing process. One thing I do is create a ‘Cheat Sheet’ of characters I am going to use in my book.

My ‘Cheat Sheet’ helps me keep track of people, there names, there personalities, there ages, and anything else I might need for future reference. A character I keep on a cheat sheet rarely takes up more than one line on text. So the whole thing is clean and simple and is an easy to use reference.

So here is an example of a cheat sheet I would create using characters from the Simpsons. It contains the important information I might need to know about a character in one line of text.

Bart Simpson • 10 (Dennis The Menace) Trouble maker – Fat – Prank Caller
Homer Simpson • 36 (Ralph Kramden) Loud – Get Rich Quick ideas – Lazy
Lisa Simpson • 8 (Marcie from Charlie Brown) Smart – Voice of reason – Musical

So the idea behind it is pretty simple and generally includes.

  • Character Name
  • Age
  • Who they remind me of
  • Personality traits to remember

This is actually the template I use when creating a cheat sheet.

Character Name • Age (who they remind me of) Traits – Personality – Quarks

Thats how I do it. My cheat sheet has been such a valuable tool for me when writing. It makes the whole process of writing so much easier. I really hope anyone getting into writing will find this tip useful. Let me know if you have any tips on how you track characters. I am always interested to learn how others write.